So Geoff Willerton, the head of Calderdale Planning and Highways, is happy to ignore the concerns of his own team of conservation officers over the placement of a British Telecom pole obscuring one of the classic views of our 500 year old listed monument, the packhorse bridge (HB Times, December 12).
Not for the first time I have had to ask why he bothered spending his officers’ time and our money in a year-long consultation resulting in a dubious extension to the conservation area, when they are hardly ever willing or resourced to challenge infringements within it? I was led to believe the enforcement officer had ensured that BT would now apply for “retrospective planning permission”, meaning we, the public, could oppose the pole’s placement and have it removed if successful.
No, sadly that seems not to be the case. Instead they have been asked to apply for a “General Development Order”. This appears to be short for General (Permissible) Development Order. One where they just have to let the council know they are doing it! Add to that Geoff Willerton’s comments “Having regard to all the circumstances, we have concluded it is not appropriate to take further action in this instance” and you get his big green light for BT. It is now down to public pressure to protect this vista.
Write direct to BT before December 30 at Pole Objection Team, Stonebow, Exchange, York, ATE. Garden Place,York, YO1 7NT. Quote: Job Number and Engineer’s ID: 80031591/5001216864/UDLIBG4VOUH